SOBE Concerned Citizens: make public comment to the Public Utilities Commission

The Mahoning Valley deserves clean air, safe drinking water, and a safe environment -- SOBE Energy Systems proposed tire and plastics recycling plant threatens all of that. They plan to put a dangerous, untested set of plastics and tire recycling plant right in the heart of downtown Youngstown. SOBE Energy is trying to sneak this dangerous plant through regulatory bodies by downplaying its dangers and pretending its dirty technologies are "green."

We understand -- SOBE Energy talks a good green game, but underneath it all, their hearts are carbon black: they're just another dirty polluter trying to exploit Youngstown's vulnerabilities. Here's more information about their plans, what we know, and what actions we've take thus far.

How can you help

Right now, you can help fight against SOBE with a simple three minute action: writing a public comment against the proposed SOBE Energy plastics and tire recycling plant, which they falsely claimed to be only a heating plant when they applied for permits with the Public Utilities Commission.

It's time to set the record straight and let our voices be heard -- we will not let this toxic polluter lie to our community and destroy out health!

Making a public comment with PUCO

It's easy to make a public comment to the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) against the dangerous, toxic proposal for SOBE Energy. PUCO's mission is to assure all residential and business consumers access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. That means PUCO is supposed to fight for us against dangerous corporations like SOBE Energy - so let's make them do it.

There is a simple, one page form on PUCO's website where the public can make complaints. It appears this form may have problems with Firefox - if you encounter problems submitting the CAPTCHA, try another browser.

Here is the link to the PUCO complaint form.

There is an online form with many blank spaces. You do not have to share all of your information if you do not want to. Only the items with a red asterisk are required. Here are some helpful tips:

Blanks to fill in

Industry: Heating & Cooling

Anonymous: [You can decide to file without your name or with your name]

Docketing Case Number: 21-0028

Company Name - Who is providing the Service?: SOBE Thermal Energy Systems

Description of Complaint: [This is where you put your comment]

Sample comments

Here are some sample comments for your complaint. Please feel free to add to, edit, and personalize these comments. It's important to touch on at least one element of SOBE's false claim that they are primarily a "utility," which is the lie that got them their permits.

  • SOBE Energy applied as a utility to provide steam heat and cooling to the Youngstown area. SOBE Energy lied to PUCO and the public about what they planned to do in our community.
    There is nothing in their PUCO application that states their new intended plan for the facility: to superheat tires and recycled plastic to produce syngas, new plastic and carbon black to sell for profit. SOBE’s application should be rescinded and they should file for their true intended purpose in this location.

  • SOBE Energy Solutions wants to place an untested, dangerous set of recycling technologies into Youngstown’s densely populated, poor and predominantly Black downtown neighborhood.

  • SOBE Energy plants to superheat recycled plastics and tires to create syngas and carbon black as well as new plastics to sell. They also plan to mine cryptocurrency at the plant. SOBE did not outline these uses in their permit.

  • SOBE’s proposed “chemical recycling” of plastics and tires would create cancer-causing air emissions in the heart of downtown Youngstown. This is too dangerous a process to place in the middle of a densely populated area.

  • SOBE Energy’s proposed plastics and tire recycling project is based on toxic processes that will poison Mahoning Valley’s people, animals, and agriculture. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a worldwide alliance of 800 grassroots groups from over 90 countries, has published lists of carcinogenic toxins that pyrolysis releases into the air, including: dioxins and furans (endocrine disruptors); mercury, cadmium, lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons like benzene (all cancer-causing); plus, heart and lung damaging volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. Youngstown residents' health and livelihoods should not be sacrificed for this toxic plant.

Hit submit! If you provided an email address you should receive an email confirmation from within a few minutes. Please check your spam or junk folders. If you provided an email address and have not received a confirmation notification, please call PUCO at (800) 686-7826.


Let us know you shared a comment!

We would LOVE to know that you completed a PUCO complaint. If you could, please share your name + a copy of your complaint with us using the small form to the right of this text. We'll add you to our mailing list for future actions.


SOBE Concerned Citizens

(330) 333-1264